9 days in California Itinerary

9 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Morro Bay
— 1 night
Drive
4
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
5
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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San Francisco

— 2 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
For other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read San Francisco visit planner.

New York City to San Francisco is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and subway. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 3 hours. Traveling from New York City in September, expect little chillier with lows of 58°F in San Francisco. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites

Big Sur

— 2 nights

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
You've added Point Pinos Lighthouse, Devil's Slide Trail, Pacific Valley Bluff Trail, and other attractions to your itinerary. On the 13th (Mon), grab your bike and head to Devil's Slide Trail, trek along Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, stroll through Pescadero State Beach, then immerse yourself in nature at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, then take in the waterfront at Santa Cruz Wharf, and finally enjoy the sea views from Point Pinos Lighthouse. Keep things going the next day: make a trip to Bird Rock Vista Point, don't miss a visit to Lone Cypress, immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, then make a trip to Rocky Creek Bridge, then take in the views from Bixby Bridge, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Point Sur State Historic Park.

To find photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Big Sur trip itinerary planner.

Getting from San Francisco to Big Sur by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and taxi; or take a bus. In September in Big Sur, expect temperatures between 72°F during the day and 56°F at night. On the 15th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Morro Bay.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Morro Bay

— 1 night
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. Your list of things to see and do now includes Elfin Forest Preserve, Monarch Butterfly Grove, Estero Bluffs State Park, and other attractions. On the 15th (Wed), stroll through Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Estero Bluffs State Park, then take in the dramatic natural features at Morro Rock, and finally delve into the lush surroundings at Elfin Forest Preserve.

To see maps, ratings, and tourist information, read our Morro Bay trip itinerary builder site.

You can drive from Big Sur to Morro Bay in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, train, and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Big Sur in September, expect nights in Morro Bay to be about the same, around 57°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 83°F. You'll have a few hours on the 16th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Morro Bay

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Santa Barbara

— 1 night

The American Riviera

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is a solid vacation destination with its wide beaches, renowned wineries, and some of California's finest shopping and dining options.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Cabrillo Bike Path, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Funk Zone, and other attractions. Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): experience rural life at Seein' Spots Farm, tour the pleasant surroundings at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, hike along Cabrillo Bike Path, make a trip to Funk Zone, then learn about winemaking at Oreana Winery and Tasting Room, and finally kick back and relax at Butterfly Beach.

To find maps, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara holiday maker app.

Traveling by car from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In September in Santa Barbara, expect temperatures between 79°F during the day and 58°F at night. You will have some time to spend on the 17th (Fri) before leaving for Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Parks · Trails

Side Trips

Los Angeles

— 2 nights

City of Angels

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Zuma Beach as well as Point Dume State Beach and Preserve. On the 17th (Fri), stroll through Zuma Beach, kick back and relax at Westward Beach, admire the majestic nature at Point Dume State Beach and Preserve, then see the interesting displays at The Getty Villa, then make a trip to Santa Monica Pier, and finally admire the masterpieces at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Keep things going the next day: admire the striking features of Bradbury Building, then explore the world behind art at Norton Simon Museum, then see the interesting displays at The Nethercutt Collection, and finally examine the collection at Hollywood Bowl Museum.

To see traveler tips, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Los Angeles day trip planning website.

Getting from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Santa Barbara in September, with highs in Los Angeles at 85°F and lows at 66°F. On the 19th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trips

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.